Saturday, February 09, 1985

Watchmen Chapter IX: "The Darkness of Mere Being"

Spoiler warning: If you have not read Watchmen, do not read these notes. See intro/disclaimer.

Cover: This is a bottle of "Nostalgia" perfume. In many ways nostalgia is an appropriate theme for this chapter, as it's mostly told in flashbacks that lead Laurie to the conclusion. The image appears several times throughout the chapter, but we don't find out where it is until the end, when we see that it was flung by Laurie.

Page 1: This is panels six through eight of page nine of the previous chapter, seen through Laurie's eyes.

Page 3, panel 9: It's odd that Jon knows things, and yet they "slip his mind" nonetheless.

Page 5, panel 3: Jon was surprised because he was destined to be surprised. He will be surprised at least twice again in this chapter, although he already knows how it all turns out.

Page 6, panel 8: Jon is clearly guiding Laurie through these memories, although on the face of it, they seem to have little to do with the subject at hand. Is Jon looking for an excuse to care about humanity, and thus he needs Laurie to come to the conclusion she does?

Page 7, panel 1: Who would Sally have a grudge against...

Page 7, panel 6: ...and what would it have to do with Laurie's parentage?

Page 8, panel 4: A drop of water falls on the right eye of Laurie's slipper.

Page 8, panel 7: That moment of preordained surprise.

Page 9, panel 4: Just because Jon understands "gravity" doesn't mean he has to obey it.

Page 10, panel 4: "And inside, there was only water."

Page 10, panel 7: "All that effort, and what did it ever lead to?" That's Laurie's eternal question.

Page 11, panel 5: As Hollis mentions in his autobiography, Sally loves "blue" humor.

Page 11, panel 8: Hollis' book has just recently been published.

Page 12, panel 2: These are all surviving members of the Minutemen excepting the Comedian.

Page 15, panel 4: Eddie expresses a lack of interest in other heroes, but sticks around to talk to Laurie

Page 15, panel 6: Arguably the most significant panel in this chapter, Laurie and Eddie stand together and share the only tender moment they ever will. Eddie comments that Laurie's hair is not like her mother's hair, but here we see someone who does have hair like hers. Also, I only mention it here because it's the only time attention is drawn to it, the "funny little mole": both Laurie and Sally have a mole on their face...right next to their right eyes, of course.

Page 17: The dialogue on this page is of course a red herring; Laurie and the reader are led to believe nuclear war is coming, but it's something completely unexpected.

Page 18, panel 1: The face of the person Jon kills is not yet known to him, of course.

Page 20, panel 2: Eddie has this moment in a framed photograph.

Page 20, panel 4: The Watergate scandal never broke in this world because Woodward and Bernstein were assassinated. Was the Comedian the assassin?

Page 20, panel 5: Eddie makes a joke about the JFK assassination, and an implication is made here and elsewhere (XI.18.8) that he took part in a plot that also involved Nixon. I believe the laughing man is G. Gordon Liddy.

Page 20, panel 8: This is the second (and perhaps last) time Laurie and Eddie meet, and their positions mimic 15.6, but this is clearly not a tender moment.

Page 21, panel 3: "Only once," Eddie says, the implication not being exactly what Laurie thinks it is.

Page 21, panel 4: A drop of scotch falls on the right eye of Eddie's button.

Page 22, panel 3: Of course, Jon's never wrong.

Page 23: Laurie starts to put the pieces together.

Page 26, panel 1: "My whole life's a joke." because she's the daughter of the Comedian.

Page 27, panel 1: The crater appears similar to a happy face, with the destroyed mechanism lying just below the right eye.

Page 29: Pages from Sally Jupiter's scrapbook. Newspaper clippings and an essentially failed attempt at producing a movie suggest how much Sally valued her fame. Sally's letter from Shexnayder along with the Probe interview let us into the world of the Minutemen, giving us the inside info on how Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis were sexually involved with each other, and she comments on the ousting of the Silhouette for being a "gay woman" (note that the term "lesbian" does not seem to be in use in the world of Watchmen) and how it was highly hypocritical.


migca said...

Page 27, panel 1: I believe there is an actual formation or crater on Mars that bears a very close resemblance to a smiley face. As I recall, when the original image that became the famous "Face on Mars" was released and stirred up such a controversy, NASA quickly searched the other new images of Mars. They discovered and released the smiley face and a few others in an attempt to show that the Mars Face was merely another natural formation.

Brucker said...

Image on Wikipedia.